WARNING; THIS REPLY CONTAINS HIMYM SPOILERS!
I am still pretty certain that Barney and Robin end up together, and that Robin is the mystery bride. My (tv viewing) logic just says so. Because I honestly don’t believe that any tv show (writers) would spend two whole seasons telling a story of how Barney got married, and make it so much about the Barney/Robin relationship, and then reveal that he actually marries a new girl. Someone whom he’s known only for a year before the wedding. I’m sorry, but Barney does not seem to me the type who gets married to someone whom he’s “just met” basically.
The shows previous history also supports “Robin is the bride” theory. They always break the couple up, and make it look like it’s the end, and everything is so sad, before they get back together and “live happily ever after”. Remember Marshall & Lily? And their summer apart? I’m seeing parallels between Lily following her dreams and the two of them having secrets from each other and all that, and the current Barney/Robin story line with Robin following her dreams and her career blossoming, and the two of them keeping secrets from each other…
TV writers (sadly) always use the same kind of tricks when writing a romance. There is always the one couple who is used as the will they-won’t they couple. On HIMYM that’s Barney/Robin. And it usually doesn’t work out at first, and things get really bad… before they get back good again. As much as I like that this show is very detail oriented and very good at continuity and all that, it’s still a TV show/story, and they still use the same tactics as others, so…
Now about the sneak peeks to Barney’s future wedding. I actually think that the pink dress Lily is wearing could very well be a bridesmaids dress.
Now about the wedding day. I think that just like Lily & Marshall’s wedding, there will be crazy stuff happening on this wedding day, too. And the “tie problem” is not the only issue the bridesmaids/best men have to solve. This could be supported by what Robin said about freaking out and needing the Best Man to get her/them all back on track, when she gets married and that’s why she needs Ted to be the Best Man. And perhaps no one knows that Ted is also Robin’s best man? ha-ha
If the bride is not Robin, but instead someone else (Quinn), then let’s first look at why would Lily be with the bride before she comes to the grooms room to ask the Best Man to go and see the bride? Sure, Lily’s look is “confusing” when she says that, but we don’t know the whole story yet. It all would be much more strange if the Bride is anyone else - why would Lily be there with her, and why would Ted react so calmly and go and see the bride, like “what now?”? To me all the behaviour still supports the idea that the Bride is someone they all know very well.
Sure, we don’t know the story of Quinn yet, but I still don’t believe that she’ll succeed in what no other girlfriend/boyfriend so far has — becoming the sixth member of the little group. And unless she is different than her character description makes her look like, I don’t think she’s a serious candidate for the Bride. Also considering the fact that we will find out the identity of the bride in only 10 episodes after the new character is introduced, even if the wedding takes place actually in the future.
The thing is… I believe that the writers and the show just needs to keep the audience guessing, and confused… until the very last minute. And that’s why everything is done the way it’s done. So many little things we’ve seen, and will see, are there only to confuse us. And keep us guessing. They need to make it look like the options are still there, when in fact there is only one option. Only one answer to the question “Who is the bride?”
To me the little clues: the ones that I’ve posted about, and the ones others have posted about (girl of my dreams/girl of your dreams, etc) are saying that Barney and Robin end up together.
After all — it’s Ted’s story. And he’s a romantic. So he tells the story from his perspective. And I don’t think he’d (the writers) spend so much time on little details about Barney/Robin story if in the end he’d end up together with the new-girl-in-town Quinn, and she’d focus on her career/meet someone else (no I don’t think the guy in the ugly shirt is returning as the actor is not available and they changed that story line and we got Kevin